Stretching from Carharrack to Twelveheads sits the large sett of one of the greatest mines in Cornish history. The Great Consolidated mines was made up of numerous smaller ventures and during a period of its life produced more profits that Dolcoath mine. 

Records for the area begin in the 1700’s, with Wheal Virgin already being at work. It was in 1780 that Wheal Virgin, East and West Wheal Virgin, Wheal Maid, Wheal Girl, Wheal Fortune and Cuzvey were amalgamated as Great Consolidated Mines. Even at this early point in time there were already seven Newcomen engines working; these were promptly replaced by five new Watt engines to help battled the water that plagued the mine. 

The remains of Taylor’s 24″ whim. 

Work was steady until 1805 when copper prices dropped, and did not reopen until 1819. It was this reopening that sparked the great success Consols was to become; under the management of John Taylor and his £65,000 (£2,864,738 now) from London shareholders work began again in earnest. It was under Taylor’s care that Consols became a rich and profitable mine, producing more than Dolcoath for a spell, a significant feat. Five years later the mine was linked to Devoran port via the Redruth to Chacewater railway, making the sale of ore easier.

In 1839 Taylor went to renew his lease for Consols, but was refused and he had the mine picked clean, removing as much ore from above and below ground as possible. This was the turning point for mine with production declining over the following years. In 1857 it was officially amalgamated with United Mines to form Clifford Amalgamated Mines. As work progressed on the site and the miners reached ever deeper ground, the temperatures quickly became unbearable, with some of the lower levels reaching 96 °F (36°C). 

When the mine finally closed in 1870 it still had twenty engines at work, including nine pumping engines, seven whims, one man engine and a crusher. Once the pumps were turned off it didn’t take long for the lower levels to quickly fill with water. There were two attempts at reworking the mine at later dates. Between 1899-1905 Gwennap United tried to rework the dumps, but this was fairly unsuccessful and from 1834-41 and 1969-81 Mount Wellington also had a go, which again proved unsuccessful. 

Davey’s whim. It’s pumping engine was destroyed to make room for the road below.